Sometimes the true sign that I’m witnessing something so incredibly beautiful is when I start feeling, like, legitimately emotional. And the first time I felt moved to tears, that I can recall, by nature, was in Northern Montana driving through Glacier National Park for the first time. It may have also been the first time where I had my breath literally taken away by the beauty of something before my eyes. There’s a road that winds its way through and – through Glacier National Park. It’s called the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and it was built along mountain’s edge. It’s safe, it’s fine, it’s not risky, really. And, all I recall is like, I sorta just made this decision on a whim to go drive that way. In my life, I’d never been to the Rocky Mountains before. And it was this big life moment, this feeling of just breaking out, breaking out of the norm. I had traveled before, but it was always with cause. There’s a friend down there, there’s – someone’s college is over here, etcetera. It was one of the first times where I just said, “I’m going to go experience a novel, an amazing life experience just because I can.” And so with that, when I arrived at the foot of the Rockies and eventually entered into Glacier territory, there was this mix of emotion that was so strong, to know that I had brought myself in a car to the foot of something so magnificent. And every time I turned a corner on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, I was greeted with something more breathtaking than the last.
We were there just after, you know, the road had opened. Actually, I think we were there probably three days after the road was sufficiently plowed, which a lot of times cuts into the summer. And so there’s waterfalls coming down to your right, splashing against your car. There’s these magnificent valleys, these beautiful greens and almost neon greens, and these wildflowers that ranged almost every sharp color of the rainbow. And, it felt like you were flying. Flying over one of the most majestic, amazing, beautiful places I’d ever seen. And you know, I’d turn a corner and I’d like, I’d catch my breath. There’d be like, I would lose my breath for a minute like (gasps). And I remember traveling with a partner, guess now my girlfriend, and I was wearing aviator sunglasses at that time. And I started, like, tearing up, but I didn’t want her to know I was tearing up. So like, I tried to maintain casual conversation when I’d lose my breath and my eyes would well. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. And that was just driving it. You know, we’d eventually go back time and again and hike it for all it was worth. And I guess the sad part, in a way, is you can never match that first time.